Friday, March 9, 2012

What's Behind High Gas Prices?

Have you ever wondered why we pay so much for gas?  Come to find out, there are several reasons.  According to this article, the price is largely influenced by politics, speculation, and natural disasters.  You may be asking yourself, what does politics have to do with how much we pay for gas?  Why do they have to be involved at all?  In order to keep the US's air clean and breathable, regulations have been put in place on how many pollutants we can put into the air.  Have you ever been to an emissions test?  Has your car ever failed emissions?  These tests are enforced to safeguard our environment and make sure we don't have natural disasters here in the US, like smog and acid rain.  There are both federal and state regulations in place to use a blended mixture of gasoline in our fuel that keeps emissions lower.  Unfortunately, these processes that refine our fuel also drive the gas prices higher.  That is also a part of what helps to keep our air clean, but it's also another regulation put into place by politicians.  Our job here at Simpson Brothers is to help keep your car running as efficiently as possible.  If you regularly keep up with your scheduled maintenance for your car, it will end up saving you time & money in the long run.

Ever wonder what those yellow numbers on the gas pump mean?  These are called the 'octane rating'.  The octane rating tells you how much the fuel can be compressed inside an engine before it ignites on its own.  The higher the rating, the more the fuel can be compressed before igniting.  That's why many high-performance engines require the higher level (and unfortunately the higher priced) octane gas at the pump.  If you've ever heard your engine make a knocking sound, you know it's bad - but did you know that your gas is igniting without the help of the engine's spark plugs?  You may want to think about switching to a higher-octane fuel, and bring your car in!  We'll give you a free inspection!

Visit our website to kick off your maintenance schedule with our "Name Your Own Special" coupon, and keep your car in tiptop shape!


Source: Energy Information Administration
Credit: Adam Cole, Julia Ro / NPR

Brain, Marshall.  "What does octane mean?"  01 April 2000. <>  09 March 2012.
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Photo courtesy of Morguefile

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